Samsung may finally be ready to show off its foldable phone

By Jared Newman

September 04, 2018

Samsung is almost ready to reveal the foldable smartphone it’s been working on since at least 2015. Speaking to CNBC, Samsung mobile chief DJ Koh said consumer surveys have shown interest in a pocketable device that unfolds into something like a tablet, and he hinted at a reveal at the company’s upcoming developer conference in November.

Actually shipping the thing is another matter. The Wall Street Journal has reported that Samsung wants to use a single folding screen rather than separate displays connected by a hinge. While Koh didn’t confirm those details, he said the development process is “complicated,” but “nearly concluded.”

A foldable device could help boost Samsung’s flagship phone business, which has reportedly been struggling this year. In addition to competing with the iPhone on the high end, Samsung faces tougher competition from mid-range competitors such as OnePlus, Huawei, and Oppo, which offer slick designs and premium specs at much lower prices.

In the same CNBC interview, Koh said Samsung wants to roll out cutting-edge features in its mid-range phones first–rather than letting them trickle down from the high-end Note and Galaxy S lines–apparently in an appeal to millennials who can’t afford a flagship.